Sanford-Burnham and Pfizer collaborate to tackle metabolic disease

The companies will use novel screening tools, including systems-biology approaches and technologies developed at Sanford-Burnham, with the aim of discovering new therapeutic strategies for reducing insulin resistance in obesity and diabetes

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LAKE NONA, Fla.—Mid-August saw Sanford-BurnhamMedical Research Institute announce that it had entered into a collaborationwith Pfizer Inc. to identify new therapeutic targets for preventing andtreating complications of obesity and diabetes. Specifically, the team will usenovel screening tools, including systems-biology approaches and technologiesdeveloped at Sanford-Burnham, toward the goal of discovering new therapeuticstrategies for reducing insulin resistance in obesity and diabetes.
Under the three-year agreement, multidisciplinaryteams from Sanford-Burnham and Pfizer will collaborate to identify and validatenew targets for drug discovery. The collaboration reportedly combinesSanford-Burnham's expertise in fundamental disease biology and musclemetabolism with Pfizer's expertise in drug discovery.
Investigators will utilize Sanford-Burnham'sConrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics  to screen for new targets usinginvestigational compounds from Pfizer as well as evaluate compounds previouslyidentified from the NIH chemical library. Once the parties have identifiedcompounds of interest, Sanford-Burnham and Pfizer scientists will collaborateto characterize and further study the promising compounds to understand theirmechanism of action. These compounds will then be used as "probes" to identifynovel therapeutic targets for the treatment of diabetes.
"Diabetes presents an enormous public healthburden. There is an acute need to translate innovative science into potentialnew medicines for people living with this debilitating disease," said TimRolph, vice president and head of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic DiseasesResearch Unit at Pfizer. "Pfizer's collaboration with Sanford-Burnham touse their cutting-edge screen designs is an example of our strategy to workwith academic innovators to discover novel therapeutics for prevention andtreatment of diabetes."
"Pfizer will have access to Sanford-Burnham's teamof world-class scientists and translational infrastructure dedicated to findingnew approaches to targeting disease. Collaborating with researchers at a majorpharmaceutical company will help Sanford-Burnham achieve its mission oftranslating high-impact science into new therapies," said Dr. Stephen Gardell, seniordirector of scientific resources at Sanford-Burnham's Lake Nona location. "This importantcollaboration focuses our tremendous scientific and translational firepower ona major medical problem: complications of obesity-related diabetes. Workingwith Pfizer, we can more quickly bridge the gap between basic and translationalresearch."
SOURCE:Sanford-Burnham news release 

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